Saturday, January 05, 2008

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

I owe one here (sure who's going to crack the whip on the Overlord realistically?)

I had a strange experience as some of you are aware over the last few days. I sent a group mail to all the LBPs on Facebook, all 10 of us who are on there. It was only later, when one or two of you expressed some small reservation about it, that I realised that it meant all 10 of us were unmasked, albeit only to each other and not to outsiders.

I suppose my subconscious presumption was that sure we all know each other here (and many of us know each other in the real world or online anyway, and we have had one meet up) so what problem would we have knowing each other with our masks off on Facebook? Only one or two did express a slight air of uncomfortableness with it but it still got me thinking about a few things.

The first was why we're here and masked in the first place. I started all this because there were things about my own personal life I wanted to write about that I couldn't do on my other blog that I write under my real name. Haven't really ended up doing that but, on reflection, it's been very hard to talk here about what's been going on in my personal life in the last few months.

Some here are existing bloggers who either write with full anonymity or varying degrees of cloakedness on their own blogs. And then some of us only write here and do so under our masks for varying reasons (mostly that we wouldn't want people at work to know we do this but more than one of us have long term partners who don't know we do this nonsense).

This led me to the second. With the Facebook thing I was asked by two LBPs to help them altering their privacy status in the last day or so. For a lot of people on there they don't realise that any Joe Schmoe can, by default, view everything on your page without being your friend. You can alter this by going into your privacy settings and setting "profile" to "only my friends". Sorts that one.

I, through a very long story, ended up on the page of the boyfriend of a friend the other night. I've never met him and probably never will but I can tell you what he looks like, his date of birth, educational history, sporting, tv and movie preferences, his nickname and when they started publicly going out with each other. All there for any randomer like me to see.

Some people I know put their e-mail addresses, areas they live in, holiday plans and even mobile numbers up there! No wonder it's called Stalkbook...

Where this is all going? Nowhere as usual. Just a thought from an old man that you take care of your personal data before someone else does.

1 comment:

  1. Its true, the future potential of social networking is scary. I also think that facebook has given greater social legitimacy to stalking. It's no big deal to say, I was looking at your friends on FB, or, is that your brother's girlfriend in that picture. I'm a big fan of the status & it's a record of my life - but the status bar is fully public.